Tonight I just had the pleasure and honour of watching the movie Invictus. If you live under a rock or in a cave somewhere without tv or movies you can check out what I’m talking about here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus_(film).
The film Invictus is one of those ones that you watch and your throat closes a little. You find that your chest hurts and your eyes mist up. It brings you to a place that you would stay forever, were it possible.
In some cases it may make you feel bad. You may feel that Mandela overcame such insurmountable odds to pull a country together and you’ve done nothing with your life.
How can a man who spent 27 years in prison under oppressive government after oppresive government have the hope required to believe that one day, one day, things would change? How can that exist in one’s soul?
But you see, neither way is the way of great men/women like Mandela. They do not dwell on what is “impossible”. They see everything as possible. They work toward their goal with a single-mindedness that belies all reason.
Why is it that some can do that and others cannot? What drives them? What makes a great man/woman great?
The catalyst is often different. In Mandela’s case he believed that common human decency would win out in the end. Ghandi too.
In Terry Fox’s case he was struck with the single-mindedness of his own journey. Had he never gotten cancer he may never have become the inspiration he did. The indescribable good done in his name has lived well beyond his physical self to become a Canadian institution and National source of great pride.
While the reason for greatness comes in many forms, the great have one thing in common.
Passion. It’s simple but beautiful in it’s simplicity.
Without passion there is no greatness.
Without passion there is no inspiration, there is only the individual. For a lack of passion requires very little work. If you do not believe in what you’re doing you will never convince another to believe in it either.
So if you watch Invictus and feel that you have done little with your life when so many have done so much remember this. You can be great. You can be inspiring. You can can improve the world around you.
But only you can determine your passion. Only you can inspire others to your passion and, in turn push them to inspire still more.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what your passion is. Not everyone is meant to find it early in life. Gorbachev changed the world at 59. Mandela was 76 when he threw his hat in to the political ring that would lead him to the Presidency.
There is no question that passion is what drives all inspiration but it is not the only thing. When you find your passion you must not stray from it. You must not allow those who are jealous or negative to stand in the way of your goals.
If your passion is strong enough, they cannot ever stop you. Each wall that is put in front of you must be overcome with strength of mind and the courage of your convictions. Every suggestion should be considered and weighed over the greater good your passion means to create.
Obstacles can be overcome in so many ways. You can go over them, around them or straight through them but you cannot let them deter you from the path you have chosen because your passion is your mission in life and it will give you warmth and purpose.
Do not feel that you must inspire the world or a nation or even your town. Inspire one person today. Show one other person your passion and improve the way they see the world.
Inspire your children to do so. Show them that life is a great, fun journey of learning and that every time they learn something that makes them feel good, pass it along. Teach them to inspire those around them.
I find inspiration everywhere. From movies like Invictus to biographies and fiction. I see it in my children when they help someone or repeat a story about Canadian Ice Skater Joannie Rochette. She inspired them, they inspire others with her story.
Find something in every day that will ignite passion.
There are many secrets to living a wonderful, happy and fulfilling life. To be inspiring is one of those secrets.
Feel good my friends.
I leave you with the poem Invictus that inspired Nelson Mandela those many years of imprisonment and urge you to share it with those people you want to inspire or who have inspired you.